MONTPELIER, Vt. — The Vermont congressional delegation says some of the state’s firefighters are getting more than $1.6 million in 15 federal grants.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, independent Sen. Bernie Sanders and Democratic Rep. Peter Welch say the awards are part of a Federal Emergency Management Agency program.

The money will be used by the fire departments to purchase critically needed equipment.

In a joint statement, the three say firefighters play an invaluable role in protecting communities across Vermont.